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Essay writing Guide – Marking guidelines

When you are essay editing and proofreading, prior to submitting your work, you may wonder what the markers are looking for.  Sometimes they give so little feedback on a marked essay that you can’t tell what they liked and what they disliked.  Here are a few pointers that your marker will be looking for.

Have You Answered the Question?

What is the essay marker looking for?

Have you understood the question or simply written around the issue?  Is the material you have presented relevant to the essay question?  Not answering essay questions is a common mistake.  Students write down everything they know on the subject, rather than understanding what the question is really asking for.  Take time to assess and interpret every word in the question.  It may seem like a samll part of the essay writing process, but taking time to dissect the meaning of the question in detail will pay off.

Essay Writing Skills – Communication

Your ability to communicate is something that you can check by having a friend on the course proofread your work.  Have you used appropriate punctuation, grammar and punctuation?  Have you structured your essay effectively so that the sections link together and make sense.  Do you have your own argument and have you expressed it clearly?  Have you represented other people’s ideas accurately and referenced their work .

Essay Writing Guide to Sources

The marker will want to see that you have read widely.  Have you backed up all your arguments, comments or suggestions with appropriate references?  Have you read critically (rather than just believing and accepting everything you read)?  You will be expected to refer to source material, but at the same time the marker will be looking for your own original thought and conclusions.

Best Essay Presentation

Have you printed your essay on A4 paper, double spaced with a good sized font (say, 12pt) that is clear and easy to read.  You might choose a font like  Times New Roman, Arial or Calibri.  Avoid fonts that are fancy, but hard to read. Have you numbered the pages and clearly put your name in the header?  You should be given guidance about how to present your work for marking and you are expected to stick to these rules.  The university department should give you instructions about how to reference your work too.

Was this helpful?  If you have any other queries about essay marking let us know.  Post a comment below.

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